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Insecure in Egypt

11:40 AM, Jul 14, 2011 • By DAVID SCHENKER
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Equally ominous have been the unprecedented reports of individual and commercial carjackings throughout Egypt. According to an interview with the head of a transportation association that appeared in the daily Yawm al-Saba’ on May 9, in recent months, in addition to a high number of personal vehicles, 15 trucks carrying construction materials across Egypt were seized, resulting in a suspension in these shipments. The near absence of security on the roads, the interview continued, is also contributing to the crisis of food commodities.

Notwithstanding the increasingly troubling picture of developments in the once stable state, Egypt today does not resemble some post-apocalyptic Middle Eastern Mad Max landscape. But the trend lines are not promising, and will not improve without a real focus on security. What Egypt needs now is not more money, but more stability. The sooner the governing military authorities understand this, the better the chance that Egypt will be able to reverse the current dynamic and start moving toward a more prosperous future.

David Schenker is Aufzien fellow and director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is author of Egypt’s Enduring Challenges: Shaping the Post Mubarak Environment (April 2011).

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